Mead fermentation monitoring by proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry and medium infrared probe
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Mead is a traditional alcoholic beverage similar to wine, but obtained by the fermentation of a diluted solution of honey. The rate of fermentation is generally monitored by the measurement of a set of physicochemical variables such as pH, titratable acidity, Brix degrees, sugars and ethanol concentration. This work aims at developing a new monitoring method for alcoholic fermentations that is based on two on-line approaches: a proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) and a fibre optic coupled attenuated total reflection (FTIR-ATR) spectroscopy. Microfermentations are performed on 100 mL musts in isothermal conditions at 20 °C. Musts consist on diluted honey solutions (24 Bx) with pollen (0.4 % w/v) and yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae subsp. bayanus). The effect of flavour enhancers [chilli (Capsicum annuum), clove (Eugenia caryophyllata) and a mixture of both] on the rate of fermentation was also evaluated. The results show that clove inhibits fermentation, whereas chilli increases the rate of fermentation. PTR-MS and FTIR-ATR are simple, fast and nondestructive techniques able to monitor the fermentation process without the need of sample preparation, extraction or pre-concentration steps.
KeywordsMead Alcoholic fermentation Honey Proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) Fourier transform infrared attenuated total reflectance spectroscopy (FTIR-ATR) probe Kinetics
We thank Province of Bolzano for financial support (Landesregierung mittels Beschluss Nr. 1472, 07.10.2013) and Evelyn Soini for her technical support. Laimburg Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry is funded by the Autonomous Province of Bolzano.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Compliance with ethical requirements
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects.
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